What is wheatgrass: A Complete Guide

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I love to eat! I bet you do, too. But many everyday-food items today are full of synthetic chemicals. As a result, we’ve never been sicker. Despite that, we can find a lot of natural ways to heal and detoxify our bodies. One of them is wheatgrass. But what actually is this new-age superfood?

This article will give you the complete guide about wheatgrass. I hope you will find it helpful, as it will give you the answers to frequently asked questions about it.

What exactly is wheatgrass?

A bunch of fresh wheatgrass followed by text area which says "Healthy Ingredients: What is Wheatgrass: A Complete Guide" next to the HIB mark

It is the young grass of the common wheat plant known by its scientific name Triticum Aestivum. This grass is grown and harvested when it is 8 to 10 days old.

Can you eat wheatgrass?

 Yes! You can eat this type of grass whole and raw. Just cut the grass, clean it, get a handful, and munch on the greens. But since humans aren’t designed to digest the wheatgrass, the fibers will just pass through the body.

Eating a handful of raw grass won’t be bad, but consuming a large quantity is not recommended. So, more often, this grass is juiced and consumed as shots.

Also, for easier consumption, wheatgrass is available in tablet, capsule, pill, and powdered forms.

What does wheatgrass taste like?

Just like other grass, this type has a strong pungent taste. Others may actually say it tastes gross, LOL! So, if you’re new to it, I suggest you mix it with other juices, or add it into a smoothie until you get used to it and tolerate its pure taste.

Additionally, it also tastes differently depending on its form. Some may like powder, while others prefer the fresh juice shots. So, you might want to try them all and check which one would suit your taste buds.

What is the history of wheatgrass?

The benefits of this grass have been recognized over thousands of years. But more recently, Charles F. Schnabel promoted the consumption of it in the 1930s.

During those times, consumers all over the United States and Canada started to purchase wheatgrass in supplement forms.

In the 1940s, Ann Wigmore, the founder of Hippocrates Health Institute, introduced the powerful healing properties of supplements. In fact, she used weeds and wheatgrass to heal herself from colon cancer.

As of today, pilot studies were conducted in India. Experts are examining the nutritional benefits of wheatgrass and its potential for treating severe diseases like cancer, diabetes, and AIDS.

 Is this grass wheat?

 They both have wheat in their name. They came from the same plant “Triticum Aestivum.” However, there is a phenomenal difference between wheatgrass and wheat.

Wheatgrass is the young sprouts harvested before the plant matures and produces grains.

Whereas, wheat refers to the grain of the plant. It is what we ground to make flour for bread, pasta, and pastries.

There is also a big difference in their nutrient profile. That is what we will discuss in the succeeding question: Does this type of grass have gluten?

 Does wheatgrass contain gluten?

One of the frequently-asked questions is: “Is wheatgrass gluten free?”

Wheat is one of the main sources of gluten, whereas the young grass doesn’t contain it. How?

Gluten is only present in the seeds of the wheat plant. When harvested young, 7 to 10 days to be precise, the leaves of wheat shoots are gluten-free.

Is wheatgrass good for you?

Yes. This grass is good for you. There are a lot of listed benefits of wheatgrass. A lot of people are consuming them to enjoy their cleansing effects, while others use them for healing purposes.

However, if you are pregnant, or suffer from medical conditions like Celiac disease, it is better to consult with your physician first to seek personalized advice.

Is it safe for children?

 Since wheatgrass has a lot of health benefits, it is also safe for kids two years old and above. However, if they have any medical conditions, it’s better to consult their pediatrician first.

 Also, the grass has powerful nutrients. So, it is recommended to only give them a small amount of the juice. You can mix it with other juices or smoothies, as children may balk at the intense flavors of this grass.

Lastly, make sure to check the wheatgrass product to determine if it is safe for your kids. It is because different products have different preparations and some may have additional ingredients that may be harmful to a young child.

 What are the health benefits of wheatgrass?

Maybe you have seen testimonials of people who have been benefited by consuming this superfood. Some have actually created Facebook pages to connect with other enthusiasts.

What does it do for them? They say they became healthier and felt energized when they started incorporating this grass into their diet.

So, what is it good for? There are a lot of benefits. Detoxifying your body is just one benefit of wheatgrass. It is made up of 70% chlorophyll. It also contains, selenium, zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins A, C, and E.

Actually, further clinical studies are needed to evaluate the precise therapeutic capabilities of this grass. However, just by considering the aforementioned nutritional content, wheatgrass contains a lot of potential health benefits.

So, what are the benefits? It helps to boost your immune system, improves digestion, prevents tooth decay, and promotes healthy skin and hair. Additionally, it can reduce high blood sugar, helps to treat blood-related diseases and bone problems. Significantly, wheatgrass may also help in chemotherapy.

What is organic wheatgrass?

Organic varieties are grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents. If you opt to buy powdered varieties, you should check the label if they are from organic sources. Why?

Organic types are better than conventionally-grown varieties. In particular, wheatgrass grown in a conventional way may have some chemical residues in them. As you may know, herbicides and insecticides can be harmful to our body in the long run.

For this reason, you may want to make sure that the grass you will consume is organic. Make sure there is a USDA organic label on the products that you choose to purchase.

Furthermore, you can grow wheatgrass at home. There are a lot of kits available at different health food stores, or even online. In this way, you can be certain that the grass you’ll use is organic.

 How to use wheatgrass?

There are a lot of ways to use this plant and enjoy its benefits. Indeed, it is a multi-functional grass that you should have at your home.

Make it a decor

Wheatgrass kits contain everything you will need to grow it at home. You can sow the seeds in a nice pot, or a decorative tray. Then, all you have to do is be creative. There are a lot of brilliant things that you can do with it. You can use it as a centerpiece or home decor. Yes, it is a simple craft that even kids will enjoy.

Just chew it

As humans, we’re not able to digest the fiber in wheatgrass. We can take a small amount of it and it will just pass through our body. You just need to get a small cut of the grass, clean it and chew it. As you chew it, you’ll taste the juice coming out of the leaves. It is a good idea for first-timers. You can just chew a small amount of it regularly until you get used to its taste and your body gets used to its effect.

Use it as a beauty aid

The grass can be used as a skin cleanser and moisturizer. For example, you can use it as a body wash. You can apply the wheatgrass juice onto your body using your hands, a washcloth, or a loofah.

Also, you can pour a glass of the juice, or a handful of powder, into a bathtub of warm water. Then, soak your body in the tub for at least 30 minutes for your skin to absorb the nutrients.

Not only that, but you can also apply wheatgrass juice into your scalp and hair. It can help to get rid of that scalp dryness and dandruff. Plus, it can help to restore the gloss and healthy texture of your hair.

Use it as a poultice

When applied to wounds, wheatgrass juice can help to speed up the healing process. To make a poultice, crush and smash fresh grass with a mortar and pestle until all the juices are released. Using a clean cloth or cotton, apply it topically on your itchy or inflamed skin.

Blend or juice fresh wheatgrass

If you don’t want to chew it, you can also try extracting its juice using a standard blender. You can put a cup of water, milk, or fruit juice in the blender plus a handful of wheatgrass leaves. After blending it in a few minutes, you can tip it through a strainer to separate the fiber from the juice.

However, using a juicer is a better way of extracting the juice. You can choose a manual or electric masticating juicer. The slow speed protects and maintains the healthy enzymes of the grass. Plus, it prevents oxidation and allows your juice to be stored for up to 72 hours without degradation.

Refresh with a smoothie

If you can’t stand the taste of the wheatgrass shot or its juice, why not try putting it into smoothies? In this way, you can overpower its strong taste. You might want to check out the best wheatgrass smoothie recipe ideas that we have on this website.

Wheatgrass for pets

Dog and cat lovers found wheatgrass as a nice treat for their pets. Since it is natural for these little pals to munch on the greens, it is better to give them grass that isn’t just healthy, but chemical-free.

You can just sow the seeds in a small pot and after a week, you can put the pot near their food bowl and let them chew on it whenever they need it.

How to grow wheatgrass?

It is easy to grow wheatgrass at home. In fact, lots of kits are available online. Steps and guidelines on how to grow them indoors or outdoors are included in their packages. But take a look at the following basic steps:

Step #1:

Prepare the needed materials: wheatgrass seeds, tray, soil.

Step #2:

Soak the seeds. You can just directly plant the seeds in a pot or tray. However, soaking it will give you better produce.

You will need a bowl. Put water that is two or three times the amount of your seeds. Soak it overnight (8 to 12 hours).

After soaking it, drain the bowl and throw away the water. Rinse the seeds thoroughly, but do not soak it again in water.

Every 8 to 12 hours, rinse and the seeds and drain the jar. Repeat this process until some roots appear.

Step #3:

Planting your seeds. Spread the germinated seeds into your tray of soil. Moisten the soil regularly by sprinkling a small amount of water on it. Be sure to do not over water it, as the seeds may rot.

Step #4:

Cover your tray with another tray with holes in it to keep sufficient light out. You can totally remove the cover when the wheatgrass is about 2 inches tall.

Step #5:

Start harvesting your wheatgrass when it’s 5 to 10 inches tall, or after 8 to 10 days from planting it.

What is wheatgrass’s recommended daily intake?

If you’re just starting to incorporate this superfood into your diet, you should start with a small dose, probably an ounce a day. Then, you can increase it slowly until your body gets used to it.

However, the recommended daily intake is 3 to 6 grams for wheatgrass powder. Similarly, you can have 1 to 4 ounces of wheatgrass juice per day.

Particularly, it may have different effects on individuals. So, you may want to try different doses of wheatgrass and check for yourself which one suited you. Also, you can try consuming it at different times of the day, in the morning, afternoon, or the evening, and see when it is best to have it.

What are the side effects of wheatgrass?

Whether you’re taking a wheatgrass powder, or wheatgrass juice, make sure to drink about one cup of water afterwards. It helps to reduce the possible side effects associated with consuming it.

Indeed, wheatgrass is a beneficial supplement. It is considered generally safe, but it is always safe to start with a little to check for possible intolerance.

Some known side effects of it include headache, nausea, swelling of the throat, upset stomach, and hives. If you experience any of these, stop taking the grass and consult your physician.

However, some side effects are temporary, such as mild nausea and stomachache. Typically, this will disappear after a few weeks of taking it, or after your body gets used to wheatgrass.

Finally, if you are allergic to wheat, it is better to stay away from it, or seek the advice of your doctor before taking any type of wheatgrass.

Helpful Tips for Wheatgrass

Tip #1:

Drink a cup of water after consuming the juice or wheatgrass powder. It is to reduce your risks for possible adverse effects.

Tip #2:

Mold is one of the common problems with indoor-grown wheatgrass. So, make sure to check it upon harvesting. If there is a white or brown mold buildup on the stalks, I suggest throwing the wheatgrass away. Rinse your wheatgrass thoroughly before blending or juicing it.

Tip #3:

If you dislike the strong earthy taste of wheatgrass, try incorporating wheatgrass shots or juice into a smoothie, or other fruit juices.

Tip #4:

Try growing wheatgrass at home to make sure it is organic.

Tip #5:

When harvesting, cut the wheatgrass stalks an inch from the ground and leave it there to regrow. However, regrown wheatgrass is said to have lesser nutrients than the first ones.

Tip #6:

Harvested wheatgrass can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Tip#7:

The nutrient level of wheatgrass juice reduces when it is exposed to air for too long. So, make sure to refrigerate it if you’re not going to drink it right away.

Tip #8:

Fresh wheatgrass juice should be consumed immediately – within 15 minutes of making it – so that the nutrients are of the purest quality.

Tip #9:

Wheatgrass is more effective when taken on an empty stomach. In this manner, vitamins and minerals could go straight into your bloodstream.

Tip #10:

Wheatgrass is just a supplement. It shouldn’t replace your healthy diet and medical regime.

Tip #11:

Join wheatgrass groups, such as Facebook wheatgrass pages. You will enjoy chatting with other wheatgrass lovers. Not only will you gain new friends, but you can also share insights about wheatgrass.

Indeed, wheatgrass health benefits are undeniable. It is not just a typical grass. It is considered one of the most multifunctional grasses of all.

So, whether you’re looking for a new hobby or a new food supplement, wheatgrass is surely going to be a great pick for you.